We made a big dent in the storage room progress over the last few weeks, so I thought I’d take some time to officially introduce you to her and the plans we have. But first, here’s a before photo from when we moved in. The room is 18.5 ft long x 7.5 ft wide–a pretty generously sized storage room.
If you’re like us, maybe you’re blinded by how finished everything looks, to really pay attention to how it might function. When we first looked at the house, we were so impressed by the painted concrete floors and how the shelves were painted instead of left wood. And even though the room sported “boob” lights, they were nicer boob lights…which actually doesn’t look better, but you could tell effort was put in to this room. After we moved in, and were getting settled, a lot of boxes, holiday storage and luggage ended up here in our storage room, naturally. And it was only then that we realized that we had a problem.
The room, with 11″ deep shelves (and not much taller) was built for food storage and not really any other kind of storage. This is a good time to probably mention, we are believers in food storage and emergency preparation. However, over the course of our marriage, we’ve discovered–partially due to the way Chris likes to cook and eat along with my medical needs–we don’t eat a lot of dried pantry goods. During our first couple years of marriage, we’d stock a few months supply of emergency food only to have it all expire because we never rotated through it.
When we moved here, we decided it’s still important to have an emergency stash of food, and we invested in a six month supply for our family of the 25 year shelf life stuff. There’s a variety of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that you only have to add water to. That way, if there’s an emergency, we’ll have something to eat but we don’t have to constantly worry about it expiring. So we’ll keep some of the shelves shallow on one side to accommodate that, but as for the rest of the room, it’s looking more like this now.
If you listened to last week’s podcast, you know we emptied everything out of the room first. We made three piles: keep, donate and trash. We ended up bringing the biggest pile to our local thrift store. Everything from clothes and shoes, to home decor, toys, old luggage sets and electronics, and holiday decor. Dropping all that off was a huge weight lifted.
Once the room was cleared, Chris demo’d out the majority of existing shelving and we made plans to rebuild. We’ll be building extra deep shelves on the back wall (where there were no existing shelves at all previously) and the right side of the room will have shelves about 27″ deep to accommodate standard sized storage bins.
And then we had kind of a crazy idea. Could we add a mini workout area to this room? Right now, there is a 7′ square space from where the shelves finish to the end of the room where you walk in. It could be just enough room for a treadmill and a few free weights. To which Chris chimed in, “Maybe we could mount a small TV.” The more I thought about it, the more I warmed up to the idea of adding some every day function to the space too.
We hope to have the new shelves built this week, and everything re-painted. I’m even considering repainting the concrete floor lighter (or warmer?) to not clash with the shelves which I envision going a little darker on, similar to these beautiful built-ins found here. (I believe the color is Cape May Cobblestone by Benjamin Moore.)
Besides that, we have ordered two of these industrial-style lights to replace the boob lights and I’ve started looking at the never-ending storage tupperware options out there. In my mind, I’d love everything to be matching, with a label distinguishing what’s inside. Or is it easier to have lid colors coordinate to different holidays/categories?
I’m sure a few of you are wondering if we’re putting too much effort into a storage room. But, time after time, and room after room, I have learned you get out what you put into a room. If we take extra time and effort on paint color and finishes and making it look as good as it functions, I know in the long run, the room will serve us better and we’ll be more motivated to keep it looking like photoshoot day. Excited to share more progress with you in the coming weeks!